Apricot Valley teacher Beth Salinas has made a difference in local children’s lives and understands the needs of her students, said Sanchez. Salinas believes all children can overcome their barriers and achieve success. During her time at Apricot Valley, Salinas has taken the initiative to help students feel proud of their work. She encourages students to display their work and projects in her classroom, which increases the students’ self-esteem.
Salinas also organizes school activities to increase parental involvement. She has organized “Reading for Fun” week in the past several years, inviting community members — including the mayor, city council members, the school superintendent and other school administrators — to visit Apricot Valley and read books to the students. She has also organized a school talent show for several years, encouraging students to display their abilities in and out of a classroom setting. Salinas has also been influential through her efforts to motivate children who have displayed behavioral issues.
This year, in collaboration with the PTO, Salinas organized the school’s fashion show, raising several hundreds of dollars.
Coleen Sullivan, special education paraeducator, is always ready to lend a hand, according to Sanchez. He describes her as dependable and very knowledgeable. Sullivan is always willing to help out when needed. She has a great working relationship with her colleagues and can be counted on to make the right decision for the benefit of everyone involved, Sanchez explained. Sullivan, who has been at Apricot Valley since the 2006 academic year, continues to provide a quality classroom setting for the students and continues to be an advocate for quality education.